Fungi isolated in school buildings

Elżbieta Ejdys

Abstract


The aim of the study was to determine the species composition of fungi occurring on wall surfaces and in the air in school buildings. Fungi isolated from the air using the sedimentation method and from the walls using the surface swab technique constituted the study material. Types of finish materials on wall surfaces were identified and used in the analysis. Samples were collected in selected areas in two schools: classrooms, corridors, men's toilets and women's toilets, cloakrooms, sports changing rooms and shower. Examinations were conducted in May 2005 after the heating season was over. Fungi were incubated on Czapek-Dox medium at three parallel temperatures: 25, 37 and 40°C, for at least three weeks. A total of 379 isolates of fungi belonging to 32 genera of moulds, yeasts and yeast-like fungi were obtained from 321 samples in the school environment. The following genera were isolated most frequently: Aspergillus, Penicillium and Cladosporium. Of the 72 determined species, Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus and Penicillium chrysogenum occurred most frequently in the school buildings. Wall surfaces were characterised by an increased prevalence of mycobiota in comparison with the air in the buildings, with a slightly greater species diversity. A certain species specificity for rough and smooth wall surfaces was demonstrated. Fungi of the genera Cladosporium and Emericella with large spores adhered better to smooth surfaces while those of the genus Aspergillus with smaller conidia adhered better to rough surfaces. The application of three incubation temperatures helped provide a fuller picture of the mycobiota in the school environment.

Keywords


fungi; school; walls; indoor air

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